Friday, August 22, 2008

Knowing the Baby's Sex

Almost everybody nowadays knows whether the baby is going to be a girl or boy before the child's birth. That can be really fun in some ways. You can start calling the baby by name, and pick pink/blue outfits, or little dresses instead of little bib-overalls.

But Katie discovered one problem. If you're expecting to have several children, and the sex of the first child is known ahead of time, there will be plenty of color-coded gifts. She said Liz doesn't want to know her baby's sex so that whatever they buy (or receive) for the baby will be appropriate for future children as it will be neutrally colored: white or those baby-pastel yellows & greens.

Being from the olden days when you discovered the baby's sex after he/she was born, I had never realized that Not-Knowing could be a frugality measure. It also crossed my mind that in these days of one-child-per-family, maybe a whole lot of people don't care whether the baby's things can be used for future siblings ... who are likely to not come into existence anyway.


  1. Just want to comment on the fact that the one child situation isn't always a choice, just the way it ends up.

  2. Hmmmm. . .I suppose that would explain the rise in things like PINK carseats & strollers! And as silly as I think that is, what realy frustrates me is that things like cribs are no longer made to last for more than 1 or 2 babies.

  3. We decided to go try the whole "registering" thing today, and found another source of the problem. There is only a small portion in the stores that isn't either pink or blue, and half of all the non-gender-specific items were Pooh (not that I mind, I love Pooh bear).

  4. We will have to try to get them neutral things :) Remind Katie that they can always return things if they need to. (can't return hand made things, but those are fun to have anyways).

  5. Of course, there's always the option of finding out the gender, but then not telling anyone, until AFTER the baby showers, which is what we did.

    When a situation developed that indicated I might very well lose the baby, I found that I really, really wanted to know what the gender was.

    But I certainly understand both point of view!

    Good luck finding gender-neutral stuff... it's REALLY hard.

  6. Kristi, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply that having one-child is always a deliberate choice. Of course (!) that sometimes IS "just the way it ends up." I guess my observation was only to say that if a couple is planning to have no more children, then it is easy to want items in pink or blue. But if a couple is expecting more children (although, like you said, that may not be how it turns out!) they'd be more likely to want neutral colors.

    Katie, EC, and Angie, you can tell how often I shop! I didn't even know that things were pretty much color-coded these days. I just assumed that white and yellow baby clothes would be widely available. All the more reason to hang onto these last few things I have in a box downstairs.

    Angie, I guess they only make things for how long they think they're going to last. And forget siblings using the same crib. Extended families now are usually spread out enough now that they aren't passing cribs and strollers around to cousins or siblings who are close enough to be able to borrow the equipment.

  7. The frugality aspect is just one of quite a few reasons that I don't want to find out the sex of the baby, actually...and it's probably one that's lower down on the list. :-)

    But finding neutral clothes really hasn't been a problem for us at all. We probably have as much clothes as we need for at least the first 3 months already...just from hand-me-downs, rummage sales, and things that our families have already bought us.

  8. One thing to consider that we did for my sister, was going to yard sales. We ended up hitting it lucky at this one, where the lady had twins (boy and girl) she ended up with so many clothes that they only really wore a lot of their stuff once or twice before they out grew it. I think Mom got suitcases full of baby clothes for like 5 dollars or something cheap, it might have been 20, but it ended up being about 50 cents per outfit. We also got a lot of the big stuff second hand too, like the crib you can sometimes find at second hand stores (gotta watch the safety on a lot of that stuff as it changes).

    I know you guys will do great at finding something :) It's nice knowing what the baby will be, but there are the downsides sometimes, like with the gifts.

  9. Susan,
    Don't worry about it. It is a sensitive subject, one I normally feel I have come to grips with, but sometimes my pain slips back in.

    I have often wondered what people think when they see are one child. Do they think we have done it because we want to have all the nice stuff....or we want time to ourselves.....I just don't ever want people to think that.

    I love to have a table full of children that consumes my meal and there are no leftovers. I long for Ben to have siblings to talk with and comfort, and be friends with.

    I shouldn't have been sharp. Sorry. It is just hard. I take things too personally!

  10. Kristi, I didn't think you came off "sharp" at all. I have heard from some friends how hard it is when they haven't had kids, and they want to say, "We're not being yuppies; we would love to have children but God has not blessed us yet; please pray for us!" If it makes you feel any better, I usually go on the assumption that people have as many kids as they do because they're taking however many God gives them (whether it's zero, one, two, or 18) unless they've given me good reason to believe otherwise (for example, knowing their health problems with pregnancies).

  11. Of course the doctors aren't always right. It's a good reason to just stick with neutral colors. Dd was supposed to be a boy, everything we had was blue. Boy were we surprised when she was born! My mom had to run out and buy girl clothes for that first picture. Since almost all our blankets were in shades of blue everyone always assumed we had a boy :)

  12. Hi, Susan. Long-time lurker, first-time poster.

    "I have heard from some friends how hard it is when they haven't had kids, and they want to say, 'We're not being yuppies; we would love to have children but God has not blessed us yet; please pray for us!'"

    Oh, this was me. My husband didn't understand why I was so open about my pain in not being able to have a baby. I couldn't stand that people might think that we were just waiting because we wanted to. Even after we finally had a baby, nearly 6 years after we married, I hated to hear people say "Well, aren't you glad now that you had all that time together just the two of you?" NO! I would have traded it in an instant for more babies.